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In the latest in our 10-part series, the films we are most looking forward to next year by the worlds most singular directors

Based on a True Story

Now 83, Roman Polanski remains firmly in the public eye, despite not having shot a film since 2013s ropy Venus in Fur. But Carnage, released a couple of years before that, suggested there was life and fire in the old genius yet, and this one has the great advantage of being scripted by Olivier Assayas. Another meta-fictional thriller in the mould of The Ghost Writer, this one stars Eva Green as a writer who becomes involved with an obsessive admirer.

Call Me By Your Name

Maybe the most intriguing among a strikingly tasty-looking bunch of Sundance titles, Luca Guadagninos latest may not feature Tilda Swinton, but it does look of a brilliant, shimmering kind with the likes of A Bigger Splash. Armie Hammer stars as an American academic who starts a summer love affair with an adolescent boy (Timothe Chalamet) while staying at his parents house on the Italian Riviera. Michael Stuhlbarg is the possibly spluttering papa.

The Death and Life of John F Donovan

Dont expect it to show up at Cannes no way, no how, not after what happened last time but still were reserving space for the latest by enfant terrible Xavier Dolan. Another English-language debut, this one stars Kit Harington as a rising US actor accused by gossip mag editor Jessica Chastain of being a paedophile. The supporting cast is as wow-y as that premise: Natalie Portman, Kathy Bates, Susan Sarandon, Michael Gambon.


Heres one that should make someone who, say, might be on maternity leave from March, feel really sore to miss: Alexander Paynes follow-up to the masterful Nebraska. And its his most ambitious to date: a sci-fi comedy drama starring Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig (subbing at the last minute for Reese Witherspoon) as a couple who voluntarily decide to be shrunk. But then she backs out at the last minute. Margo Martindale (star of Paynes fantastic Paris short), Jason Sudeikis, Alec Baldwin and Christoph Waltz co-star.

The Handmaiden


Heres the only one on this list any of us have seen already: Park Chan-wooks simmering adaptation of the Sarah Walters novel Fingersmith. It premiered at Cannes in May and was warmly received as one of the most erotic movies ever made.

Happy End

Michael Haneke and Isabelle Huppert reunite for his first film since Amour and hers since, well, the trio of brilliant hits she had this year. Details are sketchy, but we know it co-stars Amour lead Jean-Louis Trintignant as well as Mathieu Kassovitz, that it was shot in Paris, Calais and London, and that the migrant crisis might be a backdrop. Nous laimons dj.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer

The Lobster might not have picked up the acclaim it deserved but Colin Farrell is still in with a shot at the Golden Globes and its certainly upped Yorgos Lanthimoss profile in the US. Hopefully that bodes well for a great launch for this Cincinnati-set drama about a surgeon (Farrell, again) who forms a familial bond with a teenage boy, with apparently disastrous results. Nicole Kidman plays his wife; Alicia Silverstone crops up too, amazingly.

Lean on Pete

Of all the projects to follow 45 Years, Lean on Pete wasnt quite what we anticipated from Andrew Haigh. But whatever that fella dishes out, well take it. Lean on Pete is a racehorse; he and a 15-year-old take the trip from Portland, Oregon, to distant relatives in Wyoming. Steve Buscemi, Chloe Sevigny and Steve Zahn feature.

Mektoub Is Mektoub

The fallout from Abdellatif Kechiches 2013 Cannes win for Blue Is the Warmest Colour did not paint him in the rosiest light. This one is based on Antoine Bgaudeaus novel La blessure, la vraie, about a screenwriter whose personal and professional dealings intermingle during a visit to his hometown on the Mediterranean. Other than that, its a puzzle: the cast is a mystery, but were guessing well find our around late April, when the Cannes contenders are announced.


Its easy to see why Derek Cianfrance might want a change of direction. His last movie, The Light Between Oceans, was a bruising, heartfelt, 100-hankie weepie on which multiple critics poured scorn (leading to Cianfrances wife, no less, writing a letter of protest). The Blue Valentine director this time round is going down the quasi-documentary route with the story of a heavy metal drummer who blows his eardrums out and must learn to adapt to a world of silence.


As one of the few people who liked The Search, Michel Hazanaviciuss follow-up proper to The Artist (never released in England due to the brutal festival reception), Im a nervous for and excited about this biopic of Jean-Luc Godard, about his courting of the then 17-year-old wife Anne Wiazemsky. Louis Garrel plays the director, Stacy Martin the actor. Brnice Bejo is also in the mix; her relationship with husband Hazanavicius may also have informed their involvement in this one.

The Sisters Brothers

Joaquin Phoenix makes his first appearance on this list, this time in the first English-language film from Jacques Audiard. Based on Patrick DeWitts novel, its about sibling assassins (Phoenix and John C Reilly) pursing a gold prospector across 1,000 miles of 1850s Oregon desert. Audiard was the surprise winner of the Palme dOr at Cannes last year for Dheepan; this looks quite wildly different.


Wim Wenders latest sounds faintly bananas. James McAvoy plays an Englishman imprisoned by jihadists in a windowless room on the eastern coast of Africa. Alicia Vikander is a diver prepping to hit the ocean floor in Greenland. The previous Christmas, they had a romance which began on a French beach. How this one will play we have no idea, but Charlotte Rampling co-stars, which suggests swimmingly.


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Fans of the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team have long cheered Go Big Red so why is the Union Jack now latching onto their tweets?

On the wind-swept plains of Nebraska, the abbreviation GBR means a specific thing to supporters of the University of Nebraska football team.

The Cornhuskers, so named in honor of the home states agricultural heritage, have won five collegiate national titles and 880 games since being founded in 1890, the fourth-most of any top-level university in the United States. Theyre a big deal in the land of cows, corn and college football.

And when a fan of the team roars Goooo Biiiig Reeeed on the way into Memorial Stadium on a fall Saturday, at a pancake breakfast in a church basement, at the gas station or really anywhere in or around Lincoln, the states capital she expects to hear a quick Go Big Red in response.

This is the cadence of a football season in Nebraska, and on Twitter, in Cornhusker circles (fans refer to themselves as Huskers), that traditional chant gets shortened to #GBR.

Lately, however, Nebraska football fans using the hashtag have noticed something new popping up in their social media feeds as the Olympics get under way in Brazil.

A Union Jack.

Thats because #GBR is accompanying tweets about the British Olympic team at the games in Rio. Using #GBR on Twitter now conjures up a hashflag, a small, emoji graphic deployed for big events. The Uefa Champions League final in May had a small depiction of the European Champions Clubs cup, and Februarys Super Bowl had a tiny Vince Lombardi trophy.

Understandably, the hashflag has ruffled the feathers of Cornhusker fans. As sports blogger Husker Mike lamented on Tuesday: … all of a sudden, the #GBR now has the British Union Jack attached to it. Wait … didnt we win two wars against the British so that we were free of England, her Majesty and that flag?

A British with Union Jack nails outside the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, ahead of the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

It has also caused some consternation as fans mourn the loss of beloved 22-year-old kicker Sam Foltz, who died in a car accident on 23 July. Kyle Hobbs, a Lincoln resident, was at a nearby casino when he learned of Foltzs death and tweeted out his support, only to see a British flag accompany his words. I tweeted so fast I thought maybe I accidentally hit a flag emoji.

Perhaps no one in America monitors the GBR hashtag as closely as Kelly Mosier, the University of Nebraska athletic departments director of digital communications. One of his duties is to manage an official university Twitter account with more than 278,000 followers.

Mosier first recalled Cornhusker fans first noticing a British flair accompanying their tweets during the EuroVision Song Contest 2015. He wasnt surprised when the flag popped up again this month.

Theres literally nothing we can do. Its the Olympics. Its not like were going to call Twitter and say, Hey, youve got to stop doing that, Mosier said. Its a big world. There are lots of people talking about lots of things.

That hasnt stopped Nebraska fans from proposing some good-humored ideas as to how to handle the great #GBR conundrum of 2016.

Lance Knapple, an investigator for the state of Nebraska, tweeted at the official Nebraska athletics Twitter account that a football match should be organized between the Cornhuskers and Great Britain with the winner taking ownership of #GBR.

An American football match.

If they want to cobble together a football team and bring it over here, we can get this set up right now, Knapple said. We can take care of it.

Joking aside, Knapple admitted that hes an Anglophile at heart. Its a great country full of wonderful music and writing, he said. BBC TV is by far better than American television.

Mosier, who has made a few trips to London in his lifetime, also expressed his love for all things British, particularly the tiny, blue-and-red image hell have no choice but to see thousands of times in the coming weeks as he monitors Nebraskas social media feed. Its Britain, Mosier said. Its a cool-looking flag.

Still, sporting allegiances die hard.

Nebraska Huskers (@Huskers) August 4, 2016



But that, too, was said mostly in fun. Two days earlier the Huskers account sent out some qualified support to its hashtag mate of the next few weeks.

Nebraska Huskers (@Huskers) August 2, 2016

Hey @TeamGB, good luck in Rio.

We’ll be cheering for you some, even though our heart is with @TeamUSA.

Two teams, one hashtag…#GBR

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